It really is a dog's life!

Picture of the new dogs guide to NI

Isn’t it a dog’s life these days? Our beloved four legged companions haven’t a care in the world – walked, fed, given treats on demand, and more often than not, they have their pictures taken 24/7 to post up on their own Instagram account! 

Check out a few of the local dogs here who have their own accounts, some who have thousands of followers:

Harlso – Harlso the Balancing Hound

Ice – Icebreakerni

Walter – The Life of Walter

Ralph & Pablo – RalphandPablo

Bertie – Bertie the Frenchie

Sparky – Sparky the Chorkie 

It seems to be the norm for dogs today, I mean when you are out for your daily walk and meet a new dog chum, key question is ‘Does he/she have an instagram account?” – well in the tones of Hilary Hamilton – “Why of course little Charlie does – he’s known as bonnieprincecharlie” .  No matter what their breed, or colour, rescued or re-homed,  small and cute, large and funny – dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, just like humans, and the bottom line is we spoil them all rotten.  Dogs give so much unconditional love and support that they deserve to be spoiled and are treated as a member of the family. 

We are a nation of dog lovers with more than 320k dog owners in N.Ireland, approximately 450k in Ireland, and about 9 million in the UK!  That makes for a lot of dog owners looking for places to go, walks to find and dog friendly staycations to enjoy.  

That’s where the new Dogs Guide to Northern Ireland comes in very handy.  Released a few weeks ago, the guide is proving very popular amongst dog owners both at home and on mainland UK.  If you are still searching for your copy, you can pick one up at the listed venues on the website – click here to view. 

A happy Toffee Tails with her new Dogs Guide to NI

There are quite a few dog friendly activities you can do these days (dedicated page in the new guide!) and we could always do with more dog friendly distillery tours and visitor attractions, but with Covid-19 a few have remained closed until further notice.  So on Sunday past,  I took myself and Georgie into Belfast, and walked along the quayside in Titanic Quarter.  It was such a lovely warm day, with a good few people milling about doing the same thing.  I’ve walked the trail many times before with Georgie’s chum Capt Bob of the Belfast Barge, taking ourselves along the trail to HMS Caroline where there are a few picnic tables. 


I’m a big fan of combining some exercise with food and drink afterwards – rewards for the exercise efforts!  One such dog friendly activity is to combine a dog walk with the Glass of Thrones displays around the City Centre.  The trail starts at Belfast City Hall (temporarily removed), and ends behind the Titanic Centre – there are usually six glasses to find in total, but for the time being there are five.  Stark Window at City Hall has been removed until it is relocated to it’s new house!   

Georgie at Glass of Thrones 3 at Lagan Weir

The Titanic Quarter is very dog friendly and there are a couple of options for dog friendly food and drink.  The Dock Cafe is an honesty cafe, which means you pay what you can afford for a tea/coffee and traybake – (their opening hours vary at the moment due to Covid-19 so do check before you set off).  It’s a great spot, spacious and comfy seats, with friendly volunteers.  There is also Hickson’s Point located beside the Titanic Centre (currently closed due to Covid-19), where you can get a bit to eat and drink with your dog.   Of course if you want to upscale your dining experience, then you can also pop into the bar and lounge area of the AC Marriott Hotel and have a fabulous lunch or dinner – the bar and restaurant are both currently open and taking part in the #EatOutHelpOut scheme which runs from Monday to Wednesday until the end of August –  What’s not to love!

AC Marriott Hotel exterior

The distance of the six glass trail is just under 3km and you can get an idea of location via the map below: – 



So, that’s just one afternoon spent in the City of Belfast, how about a mini dog friendly staycation?   Check out some dog friendly options below:-


Accommodation in the City Centre: 

Book a one or two night stay in dog friendly accommodation, knowing your dog will be extremely well catered for! 

Some dog friendly activities:

Lunching and Dining in the area:

  • Henrys and the Jailhouse – both dog friendly (they have live music at night time which wouldn’t be recommended with a dog present) – the seafood chowder and wheaten is a big hit.  
  • AC Marriott Bar and Lounge
  • The Dirty Onion for drinks
  • The Sunflower Pub for drinks and why not pick up some fabulous local cheeses from the adjacent Mikes Fancy Cheese and bring it in to the Sunflower to enjoy with a wide variety of locally crafted beers.  
Belfast city sightseeing tour bus

So there you have it folks, whether you are looking forward to spending a day out or a few days away, there are some great dog friendly options for you to enjoy.  You’re dog really will thank you for it 🙂 

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